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HoosierIllustrated Roundtable: Official game-by-game predictions for Indiana football in 2023



The staff gives their opinion and game-by-game predictions for the Indiana football season. (Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana football program has wrapped up fall camp and now turns its attention to the 2023 season.

The Hoosiers are looking to bounce back after a 6-18 record over the past two years which followed a 14-7 record the two seasons prior.

It’s been a long and newsworthy offseason for the Indiana football program, but it’s one that does bring a bit of excitement just one week before the opening kick against Ohio State.

The staff gives their game-by-game predictions for the 2023 season.

Week 1 – vs. Ohio State (September 2)

Alec Lasley: Indiana gets its 2023 season underway against the Ohio State Buckeyes, which is no easy task. While the Buckeyes are still in the middle of a quarterback competition, and will likely see a massive drop-off at that position following CJ Stroud’s departure, the talent at the skill positions are always significantly better and deeper than the Hoosiers. I think this game is closer than some believe due to the questions of who starts and/or plays under center for Ohio State. For Indiana, a redshirt freshman making his first collegiate start, albeit at home, against a top-3 team isn’t ideal out of the gate. Hoosiers lose this one but hang tight for a while.

Prediction: Ohio State 31, Indiana 14

Kyler Staley: If you are Indiana, this is not the game you wanted to start off your season with. Ohio State comes into this season as one of the favorites to win the conference while there are still concerns about how well the Hoosiers will do this season. While I think this game will be closer than most expect it to be for most of the game, Indiana just does not have the talent level to compete for a victory.

Prediction: Ohio State 35, Indiana 14

Drew Rosenberg: We will finally find out who will start at QB for Indiana, but I don’t think it will matter. Ohio State will be competing for a spot in the College Football Playoff and they will likely be too much for the Hoosiers in their opener. I could see Indiana keeping it close early, but ultimately, the firepower of Ohio State will be too much for Ohio State.

Prediction: Ohio State 45, Indiana 13

Week 2 – vs. Indiana State (September 8)

Alec Lasley: Indiana bounces back on a short week against Indiana State. After doing some good things against Ohio State, it’ll be a much different physicality, speed and talent level against the Sycamores. This will be a critical game for either Tayven Jackson or Brendan Sorsby go gain some confidence and showcase some of their skill. Indiana rolls in this one and gets its first win of 2023.

Prediction: Indiana 31, Indiana State 10

Kyler Staley: This will be a nice game for the Hoosiers to bounce back the following week after going up against the powerhouse that is Ohio State. Indiana State, an FCS program, is coming off a dreadful 2-9 season and are not projected to much better this upcoming season. What is nice about this game is that the head coach of the Sycamores, Curt Mallory, is the son of legendary Indiana football coach Bill Mallory so this will be a special moment for him. However, the Hoosiers should win this without question.

Prediction: Indiana 38, Indiana State 7

Drew Rosenberg: Indiana should have no trouble with Indiana State and will likely earn their first win of the season in this one. Indiana is a power five school and against a small program that finished 2-9 last season, the Hoosiers should dominate on both sides of the football.

Prediction Indiana 31, Indiana State 6

Week 3 – vs. Louisville (Indianapolis / September 16)

Alec Lasley: This is a critical game for Indiana — not only early in the season but one that could really set the Hoosiers up for success if they want to have any possibility of heading to a bowl game. This will be former Purdue coach Jeff Brohm’s first season with the Cardinals and is someone Tom Allen and The Indiana football program know quite well. Playing in Indianapolis will likely still feel like a home game, but it’ll still bring out its crowd of Louisville supporters. This is when we’ll really see how much game and swag the Indiana quarterback will have. This will be back and forth but I think the Hoosiers pull this one out and turns into a signature moment for the team. 

Prediction: Indiana 24, Louisville 20

Kyler Staley: For me, this is Indiana’s most intriguing game of the season and will be their first real test. Louisville has a solid amount of hype coming in this season since hiring former Purdue head coach, Jeff Brohm. Tom Allen knows Brohm very well from their battles over the years so he should know what to expect. I am not bought into the hype of Louisville football this season and actually think Indiana has a chance to win this one, in a very tight contest.

Prediction: Indiana 28, Louisville 24

Drew Rosenberg: Indiana will get to face longtime rival Jeff Brohm in his first year with his alma mater at Lucas Oil Stadium in what should be an exciting matchup. This will be a critical game for Indiana’s hopes of being bowl eligible. I could see this game go either way, but I give the slight edge to the Cardinals in a close one.

Prediction: Louisville, 24, Indiana 20

Week 4 – vs. Akron (September 23)

Alec Lasley: Indiana wraps up its non-conference slate with Akron and it shouldn’t be a game that Indiana struggles with. After the difficulty of weeks one and three, the Hoosiers will welcome this one. Like Indiana State, look for Indiana to control this one from start to finish and head into Big Ten play sitting at 3-1 on the season.

Prediction: Indiana 28, Akron 10

Kyler Staley: You could make a case that this is the easiest game on the Indiana’ football schedule this season and likely their last ‘guaranteed win.’ Akron only won two games last season and have been one of worst programs in the MAC the last few season. I think Indiana is going to put up a lot of points here in this one, which could possibly lead to their 3 rd win already.

Prediction: Indiana 42, Akron 7

Drew Rosenberg: Indiana should have no trouble against an Akron team that won two games a season ago. This is a must win for Indiana and it should not be a close one either in Bloomington.

Prediction: Indiana 27, Akron 7

Week 5 – @ Maryland (September 30)

Alec Lasley: Indiana heads on the road for the first time in 2023 and will face a talented Maryland program that is coming off of its second-straight bowl-winning season. The Terps were 8-5 last season and return Taulia Tagovailoa, one of the more talented and experienced quarterbacks in the conference. All of those things don’t add up to an Indiana win. Look for the Hoosiers to hang around for a bit, but I’m not sure if their offense will be able to hang with the firepower Maryland puts on the field. 

Prediction: Maryland 30, Indiana 17

Kyler Staley: This is the point in Indiana’s season where things get really rocky. This Maryland team is one of the harder teams to figure out but they do return one of the better college football quarterbacks this year, Taulia Tagovailoa. Hoosiers will have some solid momentum coming into this game, but I think they will run into some kind of buzzsaw in this one. My gut feeling is this will be one of the uglier games for Indiana this year.

Prediction: Maryland 27, Indiana 10

Drew Rosenberg: On the road against Maryland is going to be a difficult matchup for the Hoosiers. Taulia Tagovailoa is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference and will be the difference in this one. I think Indiana can keep it close early, but ultimately, Maryland’s offense will be too much for the Hoosiers.

Prediction: Maryland 31, Indiana 20

Week 6 – Bye

Read: The 5 biggest questions facing Indiana football this season

Week 7 – @ Michigan (October 14)

Alec Lasley: Week seven arrives following a bye week for the Hoosiers but unfortunately it’s a road trip to Michigan, and my National Champion pick for this year. Michigan is just way too talented for Indiana. The combination of JJ McCarthy at quarterback with the rushing attack of Blake Corum and Donavan Edwards is one of the most potent trio’s in all of college football. This one will be controlled by Michigan from the kick. Hoosiers drop their second game in a row and are entering a critical week ahead. 

Prediction: Michigan 38, Indiana 10

Kyler Staley: This has a chance to be the worst game you will see out of the Hoosiers this season. Michigan comes back as the reigning Big Ten champion while also being one of the favorite to win the National Championship as well. At “The Big House”….Indiana has no shot in this one.

Prediction: Michigan 45, Indiana 15

Drew Rosenberg: Michigan was one game away from playing in the National title game a year ago and I expect them to be in a similar position again. On the road at the Big House is not going to be easy and I think the talent of Michigan is going to be too much to handle for Indiana.

Prediction: Michigan 45, Indiana 10

Week 8 – vs. Rutgers (October 21)

Alec Lasley: It’s homecoming weekend for the Indiana football program in a critical matchup with Rutgers to avoid a three-game losing streak. Indiana has lost to Rutgers for two-straight seasons but I think this is the year that it goes back to an Indiana win. Rutgers is entering this season with Gavin Wimsatt at quarterback after he started six games in 2022. He is an athletic and physical quarterback that could give Indiana’s defense some fits, but I think the Hoosiers make enough plays on defense to win this one. Look for a lower scoring game.

Prediction: Indiana 17, Rutgers 13

Kyler Staley: After dropping two straight, this is where I see Indiana bouncing back and getting much needed win. This is sort of a revenge game for Indiana after they fell to Rutgers last season, which turned out to be the Scarlet Knights only win in the conference. Rutgers is projected to be one of the worst teams in the Big Ten this season so Indiana has a chance here. Give me the Hoosiers at home in an ugly win.

Prediction: Indiana 20, Rutgers 10

Drew Rosenberg: Rutgers came back from down 14 against Indiana a year ago, scoring 24 consecutive points to prevail. Like Indiana, Rutgers is in a similar spot in the Big Ten, needing to take care of business against the teams in the middle and bottom of the conference for bowl eligibility. Ultimately, I think Indiana will beat Rutgers in a close one at home.

Prediction: Indiana 20, Rutgers 17

Week 9 –  @ Penn State (October 28)

Alec Lasley: The Indiana football program travels to Penn State but will likely have a very little shot at coming back with a win. Penn State returns 14 starters and a quarterback in Drew Allar that a lot of people are talking about as one of the next big-time stars in college football. Its rushing attack of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen is also extremely electric. Indiana won’t be able to keep up with the firepower on offense for the Nittany Lions. 

Prediction: Penn State 35, Indiana 7

Kyler Staley: This is another game Indiana has zero shot at winning. Penn State will also be one of the favorite competing for a Big Ten championship this season and won’t be letting this Indiana team into their house and ruin those chances. No matchups favor the Hoosiers on paper in this one.

Prediction: Penn State 40, Indiana 7

Drew Rosenberg: Penn State is going to be a very good football team this year and will likely challenge Ohio State and Michigan at the top of the Big Ten East. On the road, I don’t think Indiana will have enough answers to compete with Penn State.

Prediction: Penn State 38, Indiana 10

Also: 5 redshirt freshmen who could see extended action in 2023 for Indiana football 

Week 10 – vs. Wisconsin (November 4)

Alec Lasley: Wisconsin heads into this season with new head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo. The Badgers will likely have one of the biggest systematic changes from one season to another as its offense will have a lot of firepower and explosiveness it didn’t have a season ago. While ‘toughness’ is the key word for Indiana in 2023, I think this is a game that the Hoosiers got worn down in.

Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Indiana 14

Kyler Staley: Wisconsin is one of the more intriguing teams in the Big Ten season. Since hiring Luke Fickell, there are positive vibes about the Badgers to bounce back from their poor season last year. There are still some questions with Badgers however so I feel Indiana may have a fighting chance at this one, especially being at home. I think this one comes down to wire but Wisconsin just makes 1 or 2 more plays.

Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Indiana 17

Drew Rosenberg: Wisconsin will be in their first year with former Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell. I think there will be some growing pains throughout the season for the Badgers, but I think they will have little to no trouble with Indiana football in Bloomington.

Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Indiana 13

Week 11 – @ Illinois (November 11)

Alec Lasley: Illinois had its first winning season since 2011 last year despite falling to Indiana in the season-opener but this year will likely be different. Illinois lost defensive coordinator Ryan Walters who went to Purdue, lost starting quarterback Tommy DeVito and an explosive running back in Chase Brown. The defense will also look different with a lot of turnover. All that’s to say that this game could go either way. But, because it’s at Illinois, I think that gives the Illini the slight edge and transfer QB Luke Altmyer leads Illinois to a late win to get some revenge for last year.

Prediction: Illinois 24, Indiana 20

Kyler Staley: Illinois likely has this one circled from being embarrassed by the Hoosiers last season on a last second drive. This time, Indiana goes on the road which will make this a tougher task to accomplish a win for the Hoosiers. This could be a back-and-forth game, but I like Illinois to get a revenge win.

Prediction: Illinois 32, Indiana 24

Drew Rosenberg: Indiana beat Illinois to open the season a year ago, but the Fighting Illini responded by winning 8 games and becoming one of the best teams in the Big Ten West. On the road, I think Indiana will keep it close early but Illinois will pull away and beat the Hoosiers comfortably in this one.

Prediction: Illinois 27, Indiana 14

Week 12 – vs. Michigan St (November 18)

Alec Lasley: Michigan State took a big hit this offseason with Payton Thorne and top receiver Keon Coleman both opting to transfer. Noah Kim is the quarterback expected to start for the Spartans this season but has just thrown 19 passes in three years. So, there is still a lot to be desired from the offense this year. I think the Indiana football program as a real shot to take down Michigan State in back-to-back seasons, and playing in Bloomington makes this one a bit easier to see. 

Prediction: Indiana 20, Michigan State 17

Kyler Staley: Speaking of revenge games, nobody wants more revenge over the Hoosiers that Spartans. Indiana’s shocking win at East Lansing last year put Michigan State out of bowl contention while also taking the Old Brass Spitton with them back to Bloomington. The Spartans may want some much needed revenge in this one, but I don’t think they get and Indiana yet again surprises Michigan State with a two touchdown victory.

Prediction: Indiana 24, Michigan State 10

Drew Rosenberg: Last year, Indiana beat Michigan State on the road in an overtime thriller where the Hoosiers completed only 2 passes all game. It was a down year for the Spartans and, unfortunately, I don’t see them being much better in 2023. I think this game will be a close one, but I give the slight edge to Indiana at home.

Prediction: Indiana 23, Michigan State 20

Week 13 – @ Purdue (November 25)

Alec Lasley: It’s the Old Oaken Bucket game and the most important game of the season for Indiana football. I have the Hoosiers coming into this matchup one win away from becoming bowl eligible. This is Ryan Walters first season with Purdue and first rivalry game with Indiana. This one is always a matchup where records are thrown out the window and X’s and O’s aren’t as important. Purdue has owned this rivalry the last two seasons. I think Indiana stumbles late in this one and comes up short, but a much improved season than what was expected. 

Prediction: Purdue 24, Indiana 21

Kyler Staley: The Old Oaken Bucket game is perhaps the biggest game for the Hoosiers this season. Coming into this one, I project the Hoosiers to be 5-6 so there will be bowl eligibility on this line here for them. I personally don’t have a really good feel for Purdue this year so I don’t exactly know what to expect, but Tom Allen and the Hoosiers need play with desperateness in this one and compete for a bowl game. I think they do so, which allows Tom Allen’s job to be safe, and get Indiana’s only road win of the season.

Prediction: Indiana 30, Purdue 27

Drew Rosenberg: Indiana gets the chance to take the Old Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington for the first time since 2019. With head coach Ryan Walters in his first season with the Boilermakers, I think this game will be very winnable for Indiana. I give the slight edge to Purdue at home in what should be an exciting game to close the regular season.

Prediction: Purdue 27, Indiana 24

SEE ALSO: Indiana Football Roundtable: Taking stock in Hoosiers midway through fall camp

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.